Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 4: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

The funny thing about this book is that I had received an ARC several months ago I think, but it got put under some other books, I forgot about it, and actually picked up another ARC at the bookstore the other day and brought it home. It wasn't until I was up in my office/2nd bedroom trying to weed out some books to see if I can get any money for them that I found it. But, anyway, on with the review.

This is another dystopian setting book. Thanks to genetic engineering, every human born after a certain generation now only lives to a certain age, males 25, females 20. In order to keep the population from dying out, girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages. Our main character is 16 year old Rhine. She ends up with two other sister wives, Jenna who is 19, and Cecily who is 14 I think. Rhine first meets the original wife, Rose, when she gets to the house. She grows close to Rose, and learns that the man she is now married to, Linden, was in love with her. And when she dies, he turns to Rhine as the "first wife." Rhine puts Linden off in consumating the marriage. But Cecily, the youngest wife, gets pregnant right away. She comes from an orphanage, so this beautiful big house with servants to wait on her hand and foot is like a dream for her. Jenna, who must have been a prostitute before she was captured, also gives in. There is a servant named Gabriel that Rhine meets and takes an interest in when she first gets to the house. Rhine is okay with being first wife, it means she gets more priveleges and may be able to figure her way to escape.

As I read the story, you see that Linden isn't actually the bad guy. It is his father, one of the first generation that is older, but able to live a long time thanks to genetic engineering. I almost felt like if I was Rhine, I would have just stayed. Linden did love her. and he was a pretty nice guy, and attractive, and it was a beautiful house. But, all the things going on in the basement or that his father was up to were scary to think about. And I think this is going to be a trilogy. With where the book ends, I'm not sure what will come next. Will we follow Rhine? Or will we stay with another sister wife? Or will we meet another girl in a similar situation. Or, will we follow Rhine's twin brother after Rhine disappears. It'll be interesting to see where it goes next.

This wasn't originally on my list for the Debut Author Challenge, but it fits in so I'm using it.